December 2018 Meeting Minutes

State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) December 05, 2018 Quarterly Meeting
Day One Minutes

Topic/ Key Points

Call to Order (Roll Call-In Person and Via Phone):Tonya Robinson-Mayer, Alan Gallagher, Alesia Simco, Jon Sorrentino, Bryan Baszczuk, David Morgan, Ceylane Meyers-Ruff, Chad Underwood, Ellice Switzer, Erica Molina, Brenda Shannon, Helene Fallon, Jennifer Machucki, Michael Godino, Joanie Parker, Joseph Delgado, Laura Hartmann, Liam McNabb, Lindsay Miller, Lynn Thibdeau, Margaret Schepp, Megan Brown, Melissa Campbell, Melissa Schindler, Michelle Barlow, Peter Herrig, Robert Linton, Susan Scheer, Liam McNab, Angela M. Lockhart

2019 SRC members: Rachel Jones, Gregory Lau, Hillary Nichols, Sebastian Chittilappilly, Lynnette Torgalski, Rachel Jones, Robert Liter

Public Comment:  None noted.


  • 2019 Quarterly meetings at new location, Hilton Garden Inn by Albany Medical Center, days now Tuesday and Wednesdays.
  • Review  correct or make changes to the  drafted membership committee list that was distributed. Please provide corrections, updates to Tonya  by Email.
  • SRC members must submit travel within 30 days of meetings or will not be reimbursed.  Everyone is responsible for making reservations for themselves, cancelling their own travel plans or will be responsible for payment. Melissa continues to be the SRC contact for travel and can answer any questions (i.e. state rate for hotels, meals, per diem receipts).

Review & Approve September Minutes

  • The September minutes were reviewed.  Susan Scheer motioned to approve, Melissa Campbell seconded.  All were in favor with no nays or abstentions.

Review Action Items

  • Tonya requested that all committees review the Guiding Principles and provide recommendations for any changes to her by Email.

Executive Committee Report

  • No meeting today.  There was new member orientation instead.

Workforce Development Committee Presentation: “ACCES-VR/Business Partnerships: Preparing Students and Adults for Employment Today and Beyond”

  • Presentation by Rachel Jones (Resident Director of Dining Services) of AVI Foodsystems, Inc./Siena Fresh, Jim McMahon (Director of Talent Acquisition) at Travelers Insurance, and Mike Miller (Vice President of Human Resource Operations) of Price Chopper/Market 32 (Golub Corporation).  The presentation reviewed unique practices within each corporation related to the preparation and employment of students and adults with disabilities.

State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) December 6, 2018 Quarterly Meeting
Minutes Day Two

Topic/ Key Points

Call to Order:  Roll Call-In Person and Via Phone: Tonya Robinson, Megan Brown, Alesia Simco, Laura Hartmann, Robert Linton, Michelle Barlow, Angela Lockhart, Liam McNabb, Bryan Baszczuk, Helene Fallon, Lindsey Miller, Ellice Switzer, Peter Herrig, Alan Gallagher, Lynne Thibdeau, Melissa Schindler, Susan Scheer, Joseph Delgado, Ceylane Myers-Ruff, Melissa Campbell, David Morgan, Lynette Torgalski, Melinda Dolezal, Sebastian Chittilappilly, Rachel Jones, Erica Molina, Gregory Lau, Margret Schepp, Hillary Nichols, Robert Leiter, Brenda Shannon, Jon Sorrentino, - On the phone Joanie Parker, Jennifer Machucki

Review of the agenda for today’s council meeting: Tonya reviewed the agenda for today’s meeting.

ACCES-VR Updates  

Kevin Smith

  • New members: Welcomed to the SRC.
  • New Case Management SystemOn target to be implemented in 2020.
  • Test Assessments for High School Equivalency: Three pathways to obtain GED.

Ceylane Meyers-Ruff

  • New appointment of District Office Managers in Albany, Brooklyn and Hauppauge and introduced new staff members in the Albany Central Office. A back fill has been done to fill the position vacated by Frank Coco. There will be a new manager for the Policy Unit starting later this month.
  • Core Rehabilitation Services (CRS 2.0) are on track to start in January 2019 with new vendors and new services.
  • Training Unit: Has been training staff around the state and Cornell will provide training to vendors covering the Core Rehabilitation Services 2.0.
  • Pre-ETS: A new RFP is pending. There are two ways a student can receive services: An open case with ACCES-VR or be potentially eligible for ACCES-VR services.  Student must have a disability, be between the ages of 18-21 and attend post-secondary school, alternative school or be home schooled.
  • Middle Skills White Paper 4.2 Response: Several recommendations are already in process:
    • Integrated Employment Specialists (IES) staff can provide support for some of the recommended activities.
    • Regarding Data Sharing: Presentation was provided to SRC in March 2018.  We can provide another in 2019.
    • Apprenticeship Programs: Our partners at Department of Labor have the expertise in this area.  We can request a presentation to the SRC. 
    •  Helene Fallon raised the question of increased training. Ceylane noted that ACCES-VR has had an annual meeting with VR-TED to review training needs.
  • Lindsey Miller raised the ILC contracts that had attachments around data and confidentiality. Assistance is needed to understand new requirements. The Deputy Commissioner noted that ACCES-VR will continue to work with the ILCs and other vendors to understand what is required.

Tonya adjourned the committee for a 15-minute break until 10:30am.

 Ceylane Meyers-Ruff feedback from RSA visit:

  • The report is detailed with observations, recommendations and findings. Observations and recommendations are suggestions that ACCES-VR can follow, but findings require a corrective action plan.
  • Ceylane highlighted the observations, recommendations and findings and explained where the information is obtained and what was implemented.
  • All large expenditures (over $5000) require federal approval.

Interagency Reports:

  • Office of Mental Health (OMH): Liam McNabb noted that their numbers are increasing with State Aid funded services. OMH is going to be checking on those programs to ensure that people have access to and that they are providing all the services they should be receiving.
  • Disability Rights NY/CAP: Erica Molina noted that DRNY/CAP submitted a draft version of their federal report (RSA 227). The number of people served has leveled over the years.  Still serving a large number of individuals with mental illness. Youth and Transition numbers have gone up.
  • Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (TRAID): Melinda Dolezal noted the Justice Center has a new database.  Helene Fallon noted that they have expanded the loan program of technology equipment. The annual meeting will be in January 2019 to update what is taking place with their agency.
  • Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD): Lynne Thibdeau noted that new Pre-Vocational regulations are in place. OPWDD will not fund segregated employment after 2020. Providers need to meet all requirements by 2020 for community pre-vocational services.
  • New York State Independent Living Council, Inc. (NYSILC): Lindsey Miller presented that there are changes to templates for the ILCs. New templates will be used for their three-year plan for next year. Currently an extension to the current plan is on their website
  • New York State Commission for the Blind. (NYSCB): Peter Herring stated that NYSCB is also doing their response to RSA visit.  Peter lead a workgroup on one-stop accessibility and hopes to have it available for the future. NYSCB is also rolling out new contracts. 2019 will be Comprehensive Services and 2020 will be Placement and Assessment contacts.
  • New York State Office of Special Education: Megan Brown an update on 428 amendments. Schools need to have polices in place to include students who leave school before graduation.
  • Department of Labor (DOL): Alan Gallagher spoke about special populations teams, Disability Employment Initiatives (DEI) round 6 and 8. Round 6 that will end on March 2019. Major outcome was the development of employment services for persons with HIV. Round 8 is focused on youth funded grant. Local areas doing reverse job fairs, with the emphasis on out of school youth.

Workgroup Updates:

  • Accessibility: Joanie Parker reported that a meeting was held last week. Recommendation for PowerPoints to be made accessible for everyone.

SRC Business: Tonya noted that the September meeting nominated and re-elected her to the Chair and two Vice Chair positions were not voted on. The two new Vice Chairs nominated are: Joanie Parker and Joseph Delgado. Helene Fallon made a motion to confirm the new chairs, seconded by Susan Scheer. Voted 9 for,1 by phone for, no opposed or abstained, motion carried.

  • Annual Report was completed and submitted to VR.
  • Reminder that membership list edits or corrections are due by next week.
  • Guiding Principles finalized on Monday.
  • Surveys will go out to all members regarding this meeting and orientation.

Committee Reports

Work Force Committee:

Melissa Campbell noted that WFD Committee got new members. Discussed projects for 2019.

Policy and Planning Committee:

Ellice Switzer stated that the PPC is looking at ACCES-VR policies and updated workplan. Four policies are pending that they will receive feedback on. Also discussed plans for June presentation.

Transition Committee:

Helene Fallon noted they covered their workplan and minutes. Removed items that they have completed. Martha Mock will do a presentation in March.

Quality Assurance Committee:

Erica Molina noted that they had not met since October. On their last call they covered their work plan. They have 2 new members to their group.

Other Business:

Tonya reminded that:

  • Dates for changes to committee meeting needed to be submitted to Melissa Struffolino.
  • The next meeting will be in Albany at the Albany Hilton.
  • All requests for travel reimbursements must be submitted within 30 days.

Motion made to adjourn. Motion made by Erica Molina, seconded by Helene Fallon.
Meeting adjourned.

Next Quarterly Meeting
March 19th, 1:00 – March 20th, 3:00
Hilton Garden Inn at Albany Medical Center
62 New Scotland Avenue, Albany

State Rehabilitation Council

The Council provides advice and support to The State Education Department’s Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) on behalf of people with disabilities and their families regarding the delivery of effective rehabilitation services that leads to employment for New Yorker's with disabilities.

State Council

Meeting Dates

The following meetings will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Albany Medical Center, 62 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY  12208:

March10-11, 2020
June 23-24, 2020
September 29-30, 2020
December 8-9, 2020

For confirmation of meeting dates or any additional information, contact (518) 402-3955.